THIS IS NOT JOE. Joe himself is not in this clip. These are, instead, Very Bad Men That Joe Has Known. There’s a lot of those, it seems.
It is, as far as I can tell, physically impossible to twirl a pistol like that. I know, I tried, I dropped a model Sig several times, I bruised my toes in the great pursuit of Art. But that’s the magic of animation for you… animation is all about the things that can’t be done, being done.
There’s two examples of staggered timing here (“staggering” is when you set the timing so that it goes 2 forward, 1 back). For instance the clutching hand in the third cut is seven frames that ease in and out of a closing motion, but by setting the timing as 1-2-3-2-3-4-3-4-5-4-5-6-7-6-7, you extend the timing from 7 to 15 frames without additional drawings, and create that clutching motion. The laugh cycles at the beginning are also staggered, but not so evenly (more like 1-3-2-1-2-4-5-4-3-2-5-4-3-6-5-6-7, or something like that, I don’t know). It’s not as good-looking as straightforward, properly animated action, but then again it’s a cheat.
Staggered timing is one of many great extension cheats, along with cycles and holds, used a LOT in Japanese animation (pioneered in Hanna-Barberra cartoons) because they need to make a ton of content as quickly and cheaply as possible. They rely a lot more on the layout artist and the animator being really good illustrators rather than animators, so to speak, but when you need seconds drawn in days, they’ll save your sanity.
Try it sometime… draw out a motion that would normally play smoothly from 1-7 (it’s hard to do with less than 7 frames), but stagger the timing and see how it changes the movement. It does interesting things to all sorts of motions, and it’s perfect for times when the character is heaving, struggling, laughing, crying, shivering, trembling, or (haha) staggering, and you need to save on time and energy by drawing as few frames as possible.
Which, sadly, seems to be all the time in my experience.
Drawing backgrounds has really solidified my need to work harder on perspective skills. Gotta know that math.